Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's daughter, Datuk Nurul Hidayah, has been warned for making subjudicial comments while her father's trial is ongoing
According to New Straits Times, Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah was not happy when he heard the prosecution raising the matter of Nurul Hidayah — Zahid's 42-year-old daughter — posting and talking about her father's trial on Instagram.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran told the High Court yesterday, 8 September, that Nurul Hidayah is believed to have used her Instagram account to make "absurd claims" that were prejudicial to the prosecution.
"She has made baseless accusations about the ongoing trial, making absurd claims like we amended Section 30(7) of the Malaysian Anti Corruption (MACC) Act just to ensure the prosecution against Zahid could go on," she said.
"She also claimed that the prosecution had admitted that there was no evidence of corruption (in Zahid's case), and that it was all purely slander."
"Obviously, we have never made such a statement... We haven't even started our arguments. This is a blatant lie and she is obviously very ignorant of the law."
The DPP then urged the judge to issue a prohibition order against Nurul Hidayah to bar her from making any more of such postings.
Upon learning the matter, Judge Collin was hardly amused by Nurul Hidayah's action, saying the court will not tolerate any subjudicial comments during the trial period
Zahid's lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh said it was a "small matter" before correcting himself by saying, "However, very important because it involves subjudice", reported Malay Mail.
New Straits Times reported that the judge snapped and said, "This is hardly a small matter. This court has to issue a warning that comments of subjudicial nature should not be made while this trial is ongoing."
Following which, Hamidi agreed that it is a "serious matter" and offered his apologies.
"And I would like to first apologise to the courts and we would look into this and we will ask the author to remove the posting if it is the court's will," he said.
Zahid's lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik then added that the matter was "beyond our control", but Judge Collin said he still had to issue a warning though he did it without naming anyone.
Nurul Hidayah has over 130,000 followers on Instagram.
Following her controversial comments, she issued an apology in an Instagram post and said, "It will not happen again."
She also wished the best to both the prosecution and defence team in the post dated yesterday.
Based on her Instagram feed, Nurul Hidayah can be seen often accompanying her father to the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex.
In a separate post on Wednesday, she wrote that a lot of the headlines in the press can be said to be "misleading. About me".
"Well. That is the price I've gotta pay. I am still proud to be Anak Zahid," she continued, before thanking Malay Mail for a candid photo of her at the courthouse.
She also gave a shoutout to an Instagram page selling branded eyewear. She shared the store's Instagram Story, which shows Nurul Hidayah wearing a pair of Dior sunglasses.
Former deputy prime minister Zahid is currently facing 45 charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of power involving over RM114 million: